Location: San Rafael, CA
Program: Modernist home + detached garage/storage space
Net pEUI: 10.45
Area: Main house 3562sf + 312sf garage
Area: Detached Garage 635sf + 630sf storage
Images: James Leasure / MA+DS
General Contractor: SinglePoint Design Build Inc.
Landscape Architect: Pedersen Associates
Structural Engineers: L & L Bridges, Turbin Structural Engineering
Civil Engineer: DeBolt Civil Engineering
Pool: Hendrickson Pools Inc.
This project in Marin County, CA, north of San Francisco, is built on a lot that was vacant when purchased by the client. The V-shaped site has a natural drainage swale through its center, effectively dividing the land in half. The site’s natural topography simultaneously presents a challenge and an incredible opportunity for a unique build with an amazing view of Mt. Tamalpais and nearby hillsides.
DNM Architecture’s design strategy combines practicality and environmental sensitivity to make as little impact on the site as possible. The main dwelling is placed along the slope on the NE side of the lot to minimize the grading and maximize the views of Mt. Tam to the southeast. A separate two-car garage and ADU is located on the SW portion of the lot, on the opposite side of the swale, which preserves the natural flow of water through the site. The home’s driveway begins near the garage and runs almost flat along the edge of the property (parallel with the road), connecting the two buildings and bringing visitors through the property in a procession of discovery.
The floorplan was designed with efficiency and capturing scenic views in mind. The main artery of the home is the implied hallway (less of a physical one); it is the central access point for all areas of the home. The main floor/upper level is where most of the daily living takes place.
The home’s structural steel modular framing was chosen for its durability, fire resistance and weather resistance versus traditional wood framing. Sheathed in stucco and fiber cement siding, the home is hardened against potential wildfire. Additionally, as with all new California homes, there is no gas – all systems are electric and the building exceeds CA T24 standards by more than 25%.